(SPOILERS) Fear the Walking Dead Q&A — Lennie James (Morgan)
Lennie James, who plays Morgan on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, talks about Morgan's journey towards redemption and what his connection to Grace (Karen David) means. Q: We’ve seen the group struggle with the idea of redemption. Does Morgan believe he’s redeemed himself? Or is that an ongoing journey?
A: I think it’s very much an ongoing quest. It’s a long road for Morgan. There are a lot of things he feels he needs to redeem himself for and to get to a point where he can be brave enough to look forward. On one level, he’s in charge of his own redemption, but on another, he also feels responsible for other people’s journey. He’s caught in the middle of that.
Q: What was it like introducing Colby Minifie to the storyline during this half of the season?
A: Colby’s just one of those people that you feel like you’ve always known. When I first met her, I asked three times if we’d met before. She’s an incredible spirit and a fantastic actress. She brings a certain energy to Virginia that’s kind of disarming. You want to like Virginia, but you have to keep reminding yourself that she has intentions where she’s deliberately nice and appealing, yet provocative. You want to walk with her, until you realize there is a down side, which can be the end of you or someone you care about. Virginia is a good adversary for Morgan because 90 percent of her isn’t that distant from Morgan’s intentions, but it’s that last 10 percent where they are diametrically opposed.
Q: What a beautiful wedding scene between John (Garret Dillahunt) and June (Jenna Elfman) in the Season Finale! How did you enjoy filming it and getting to see Rubén Blades (Daniel) and Karen David sing together?
A: We’re lucky because on set and in our down time, we witness both of them singing. We had a cast and crew gathering while shooting and Colman [Domingo (Strand)] invited some friends who have a band. They played while Rubén jumped up to sing some Frank Sinatra, which was just unbelievable. Karen has an amazing voice and the two of them together is amazing. The whole wedding scene was a lovely touch for us. It’s such a good moment between John and June. It was just beautiful. It was also one of those days where everyone is together. We were the whole troupe. That’s lovely to be around.
Q: Do you think watching June and John relationship inspired Morgan’s decision to explore his own connection with Grace?
A: They have an influence on him because he sees firsthand what is possible, but I also think what’s going on with Morgan and Grace is unavoidable. His final declaration to her comes from the realization that he has to say it aloud. He can’t keep it to himself. It’s real – and he has to face up to the reality and to the fact that, despite himself, he felt something for her that he hasn’t felt since his first date with his wife... It’s too big of a deal to keep to himself.
Q: What is it like for Morgan in particular to have such deep feelings for someone who he could lose at any moment?
A: It’s very typical of Morgan that when he finally lets down that barrier, he lets it down to someone who might not be around to take full advantage of it. It’s tricky, but Morgan took a risk on the possibility of opening himself up to another somebody. And that somebody might come with a little bundle, so he may very well get a little more than he bargained for and he may very well lose more than he can bear. We’ll have to wait and see.
Q: Grace got to ride a horse after all! Was that fun to film that scene with Karen?
A: Any day that I’m on a horse is a good day on set. I’m a kid from South London and there aren’t too many horses in my particular part of London. It was great. Out of the five of us that were on horses in that scene, I’m the least good at horse riding. But I would like to say that if you look closely, I am riding bareback with no stirrup. I have no saddle – just me and the horse and the reins. I was very proud of myself.
Q: In the end, Morgan is left lying there alone. After all the work he’s done, the forgiving, the helping, the trusting… how do you imagine that moment lands on him?
A: I think he says it in those words over the walkie. The important thing is that, regardless of what happens to him, the rest of the group continues to live. They have to carry on. I think in that moment, he finds real clarity. What’s important is the future. Anything he can do to help shepherd the future in, he will do it. You can’t take a bigger gamble on the future than to have a child. There’s not a bigger statement you can make. In our world, the biggest statement that shows you have faith in the future is to have a child and that’s where Grace is at the moment. Should Morgan get out of this situation, he might have a role to play.
Read an interview with Karen David, who plays Grace.
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